Wednesday, 13 July 2011
Tuesday, 28 June 2011
Friday, 1 April 2011
For my household, it is. There is not a day that hasn't gone by that autism hasn't crossed my mind, because, we live with it every single day. For anyone who hasn't visited before, both my daughters are autistic.They were both diagnosed at 2 1/2, and it has changed our lives. For the better. For the worst.
They were tantruming every single day. Severe tantrums, several times a day. They would scream like they were being physically hurt (which they weren't) and do this for hours sometimes. They were starting to get physically violent towards my husband and I. We were at the end of our rope.
At 2 1/2, they had 10 words each, and didn't have the play skills they should have. We would have NEVER known they were autistic though. From our limited knowledge, we thought they were just going through the terrible twos, and were being especially difficult. We thought their delays were caused by their tramatic, premature birth.
I'm ashamed to say, we put all autistic children and adults in a lump, and believed they were all anti-social, severly delayed people. How could our baby girls, who smile, and laugh, and love people, be autistic?
After some therapists that the girls were seeing (for speech, and fine motor) showed concern, we had them evaluated, and wouldn't you know it, our whole world changed forever. Clara was diagnosed with PDD-NOS (Pervasive Development Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified), and Chloe was diagnosed with classic autism.
They started therapy a few months later. It has changed everything. You wouldn't know they were the same girls. The ASW's (Autism Support Workers) and their clinical supervisor have made this process remarkably easy and have turned our girls around. They are learning, very fast. They are talking 2-3 word sentences, and mimicking Ryan and me. They are learning academic things, like the alphabet, and rarely tantrum. They are not physcially violent anymore (except maybe when they have a sibling scabble), and they know how to act around people appropriatly now.
People don't know they are autistic unless I tell them. This diagnosis saved our lives.
Before, I said that autism changed us for the worst as well.
When you have children, you can't help but think about their futures. I dreamed of how happy I would be at all their milestones, and sending them off to school. I thought of all the experiences I loved in school, and how much they would love them too. I thought about them growing up, and having their first crushes, and their first kisses and boyfriends. Their graduation, and them going to college. Husbands and grandchildren.
When they were diagnosed, I thought of that lump I molded all autistic people in. I thought their lives were over.
Which brings me back to how it has made our lives better. We now have hope. We KNOW that autism won't end those dreams. Will it make it harder? For sure. But thanks to amazing intervention, and patient, outstanding people, there is hope for the kids, and for the families.
Here are some facts about Autism:
- Autism is a neurological disorder that affects functioning in the brain.
- It is 4 times more prevalant in boys!
- Autism is a spectrum disorder
- Every person who is autistic is different from the other.
- There are treatments for autism, but there is no cure.
- There are many theories to what causes autism, but no one knows for sure.
- There are many myths related to autism. Like, autistic people are completly anti social, and cold. Or that they never marry, or get jobs. Every person with autism is different, and autistic people DO feel, and love, and get married and have jobs.
- People with autism are some of the most forthright, non-judgemental and passionate people out there.
- 1 in 100 kids are diagnosed with autism.
- Early intervention is key!
through this month, I will be posting about Autism, and our lives living with it!